A few decades ago, scientists and doctors were working to educate the public about “new” information relative to health and longevity: cholesterol. These days, it’s difficult to find someone unaware of cholesterol and its impact on health. Cholesterol and its impact on health has almost become yesterday’s news.
Enter Nrf2. Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2, also known as NFE2L2 or Nrf2, and its effect on health, is science’s latest breakthrough. If you haven’t heard about it yet, trust me, you will.
Nrf2 has so much potential it’s already being studied at virtually every major university and research institution in the world, as well as by several major pharmaceutical companies.
Nrf2 is of interest because it’s a protein messenger contained in every cell of the body. It sends information to the DNA, which is important because your genes make you who you are and what you are, giving you your unique personality and your physical traits.
In recent years, scientists have discovered Nrf2’s ability to up-regulate protective genes such as the antioxidant enzymes, as well as its ability to down-regulate genes that may have a negative effect on health, such as pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic genes that can lead to inflammation as well as scarring. Together, these abilities at the genetic level provide a remarkable potential for protection from many kinds of age-related health conditions.
Because Nrf2 acts as a molecular switch for the body’s own defense system, when activated it enters the nucleus of every cell in the body and turns up “survival genes.” Survival genes are stress response genes that enable cells to survive tough times and to survive in the face of several different kinds of stress, particularly oxidative stress resulting from the over production of free radicals and other oxidants, but also traumatic stress, such as when cells, organs and blood vessels are injured.
So stay tuned. Keep an eye on the latest information scientists are gleaning and working to share, and it’s a given you’ll be hearing more about Nrf2 and the important role it plays in good health.